Dr Coakley Services

My Services include:

General rheumatology patients at:

Blackheath Hospital
Winchester House,
Independents Road,
London,
SE3 9LF
Tel: 020 8318 7722
Appointments: 020 8297 4550
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Patients with actual or suspected chronic fatigue syndrome and medicolegal patients at:

Keats House
24-26 St Thomas Street
London
SE1 9RS
Phone: 0207 089 0610
Fax: 020 7407 2915
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Medical Management

You will expect to get a confirmed diagnosis, an explanation of why you are ill, and sensible advice about how to manage your illness. You might be prescribed medicines to help with insomnia or pain.

Clinical Psychology

Clinical psychologists have training in the application of principles of psychology to health and emotional problems. They are not medical doctors and therefore do not prescribe drugs. In relation to CFS/ME, clinical psychologists use their knowledge to help people cope with their fatigue, and guide them in how to overcome the illness.

Clinical psychologists see patients for a wide range of issues arising from CFS/ME, such as stress related to fatigue, pacing of activities, anxiety or depression, pain, and goal setting. The 2007 NICE guidelines on the treatment of CFS/ME advocate a standard package of up to 15 sessions of CBT. This approach is successful in around 70% of patients with mild to moderate symptoms.

Psychiatry

There has long been a rather fruitless debate over whether CFS/ME has a physical or psychological basis, which has resulted in unhelpful antagonism between doctors and patient groups. The Chief Medical Officer’s report of 2002 was a useful attempt to draw a line under this debate and move forward.

Many cases of CFS/ME have a clear physical basis in an objectively proven illness such as an infection or inflammatory episode. However, others arise from stress or have a post-traumatic element, and in others there is a mixture of physical and psychological factors which contribute to the development of CFS/ME. Studies have shown that around 40% of patients with CFS/ME have clinical depression, and whether this is cause or effect, the treatment of such patients on occasion requires the involvement of a consultant psychiatrist. Our team includes two consultant psychiatrists with many years experience of treating CFS/ME, and in a minority of cases, it may be suggested that you see one of them.

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